PROTESTS AT ANAR MAMMADOV’S COURT HEARING

December 10th, 2010
A group of “Azadlig” and “Yeni Musavat” newspaper employees protested alongside members of “Dalga” Youth Movement outside the Yasamal District Court today.

They were demonstrating against the lawsuit brought by Anar Mammadov, the Transport Minister’s son, against Yeni Musavat and Azadlıq newspapers.

The protesters held banners that read “1 million manats for the bear, 100 manats for pensioners!”, “Leave bears and media alone!”, “Don’t demand compensation for a bear barbecue!”.

The demonstration lasted for approximately 10 minutes before protesters Elmin Badalov, Samir Kazimli and Emil Salamoglu, all “Yeni Musavat” correspondents, were taken to Yasamal District Police Department #27. They were released after an hour’s detention.

The preliminary hearing should have been held today, but was cancelled, because the judge was detained on official business.

BACKGROUND

Mammadov is appealing to the court citing personal humiliation and damage to his business reputation resulting from articles published in Yeni Musavat and Azadlig newspapers. One published in July was called “Kamaladdin Heydarov’s bear eaten”, and another was published in September:  “Sheikh expels Anar Mammadov from Dubai”. According to Azadlig  editor Sujaddin Sharifov,  Mammadov is demanding 250,000 AZN in compensation.

The bear article alleged that at a rest stop restaurant in Gabala, Mammadov noticed a caged bear and ordered the chef to kill it and prepare a bear kebab for him. He promised to pay 1 million AZN. The second article said that Anar Mammadov and his friends were deported from Dubai for social misconduct.